Publicado: 16/04/2021

Biden welcomes Japan PM as first guest with push on 5G, climate, China

Biden welcomes Japan PM as first guest with push on 5G, climate, China

Washington (AFP) -

Joe Biden on Friday welcomed Japan's prime minister for the first summit of his presidency, with the allies expected to signal progress on 5G technology and climate change amid a concerted US push to compete with China.

Biden waited nearly three months to receive his first foreign guest due to the Covid-19 pandemic and still observed social distancing and did away with a customary meal together as he and his cabinet met Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Echoing Biden, Suga said the US-Japan relationship is 'connected by universal values such as freedom, democracy and the rule of law.'

'This is a time like no other in which the Japan-US alliance needs to be strong,' Suga said when he started the day by meeting separately with Vice President Kamala Harris.

Biden's decision to invite Suga as his first guest -- with South Korean President Moon Jae-in set to come in May -- is meant to show the value his administration puts on allies as he zeroes in on a rising China as America's most pressing challenge.

'I would say that this should send a strong message,' White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said of the invitations.

On another key priority of Biden, Psaki said that Suga was expected to announce a new 2030 target on reducing carbon emissions responsible for climate change.

The world's third largest economy promised under the Paris accord to reduce emissions by 26 percent by 2030 but from 2013 levels -- goals that experts say are not ambitious enough to meet Suga's goal of a carbon-neutral Japan in 2050.

Biden will lead a virtual summit next week in hopes of rallying greater commitments on climate amid growing evidence of a planetary crisis as average temperatures hit record highs and natural disasters become more frequent.

- Alliance on 5G -

A senior US official said that technology leader Japan would also announce a 'very substantial commitment' of $2 billion in partnership with the United States 'to work on 5G and next steps beyond.'

China's Huawei has taken an early dominant role in fifth-generation internet, which is becoming an increasingly crucial part of the global economy, despite heavy US pressure on the company, which Washington argues poses threats to security and privacy in the democratic world.

Biden and Suga will also discuss next moves on North Korea and growing tensions over Taiwan as the island has reported growing penetration of its airspace by Beijing, which claims the self-governing democracy.

'Neither country is seeking to raise tensions or to provoke China, but at the same time we're trying to send a clear signal that some of the steps that China is taking,' the official said, are 'antithetical to the mission of maintaining peace and stability.'

While the timing was coincidental, the official said it was appropriate that Biden was shoring up relations with a top ally two days after his momentous decision to withdraw from Afghanistan after 20 years, ending the longest-ever US war.

The pullout will 'free up time and attention and resources from our senior leadership and our military to focus on what we believe are the fundamental challenges in the 21st century and they lie fundamentally in the Indo-Pacific,' the official told reporters.

- Nuanced differences -

Suga in September succeeded his ally Shinzo Abe, Japan's longest-serving prime minister, who was one of the few democratic allies to manage to preserve stable relations with Biden's volatile predecessor Donald Trump.

Little drama is expected between Suga and Biden but the prime minister is likely to be mindful not to be seen as an overenthusiastic cheerleader for the US line on China, which remains the vital top trading partner for resource-scarce Japan.

Tokyo since Abe's time has worked to stabilize relations with Beijing and not joined Washington in sanctions over rights concerns in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

'The Biden administration, I think, is concerned at how aggressive China has been and how much ground the US has lost in recent years in Asia and wants to catch up quickly,' said Michael Green, who was the top Asia advisor to former president George W. Bush and is now senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

'I think the Japanese view is that they have had a strategy in place and they want to move forward steady as she goes,' he said.

'So there's a bit of a nuanced difference in public tone but not in direction,' he said.

Más en Zeta

Perdió a los diputados

Perdió a los diputados

29 April 2021
En Cambio Democrático, la lucha de poder toma color y forma. Rómulo Roux muestra músculo y Yanibel Ábrego tiene el control de los diputados de Cambio Democrático y los leales a Ricardo Martinelli que no se van al partido RM para que no es apliquen la revocatoria de mandato. El partido de TotoPAI...

Prohibir las armas de asalto en EE.UU.

ZETA, (AMY GOODMAN-DENIS MOYNIHAN).- Las masacres ocurridas recientemente en la ciudad de Boulder, en Colorado, y en el área metropolitana de la ciudad de Atlanta, en Georgia, con un saldo de diez y ocho muertos, respectivamente, son solo dos casos más de la violencia sin sentido con armas de fue...

La justicia no tiene espacios para más desatinos

ZETA, (JEAN PIERRE LEIGNADIER*).-Las próximas dos semanas, este espacio abordará dos deficiencias estructurales que la Cámara de Comercio, Industrias y Agricultura de Panamá (CCIAP) ha planteado por más de dos quinquenios e insistimos deben ser atendidas de manera urgente para enrumbar nuestro de...

Libertad económica y libre empresa

ZETA, (JEAN PIERRE LEIGNADIER*).- Desde su fundación hace 105 años, la Cámara de Comercio, Industrias y Agricultura de Panamá ha tenido como unos de sus pilares la defensa de la libertad económica y la libre empresa como factores indispensables para el progreso sostenido y sostenible del país. E...

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.